Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Race Recap: Medina Half Marathon

The Medina Half Marathon is a tradition for me. I am a teacher at Medina High School, and this race takes place the Saturday after school lets out every year. It is my way of saying goodbye to the school year and to Medina for a brief vacation. It is my way of letting go of the stress and the tears and the sleeplessness of grading and worrying and juggling schedules.

This is part of Medina Square. The course begins and ends here.
Each year I sign up for next year's race at the expo because it is only $38, which is an amazing price for a half marathon with an awesome medal. So, when I signed up for the race for this year, I didn't realize at the time that I would decide to run the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, since I have been running the half for a few years. This meant that I would run 26.2 one week and then 13.1 six days later.

I was committed to both races, so I figured I could walk as much of the Medina race as I needed to if I was still suffering from the marathon.  It turns out that I felt fine after the marathon, so I decided to run the half. Notice that I didn't say that I decided to RACE the half. I think that might have caused an injury, and I didn't want to do anything stupid. Well, more stupid than usual.

As a bonus, Marta from the Burning River Goddesses messaged me and asked if I wanted to run the race with her; she was also still recovering from the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.  Su-weet!

We decided to just run how we felt. . . and we felt pretty good! We decided about halfway through that we could probably shoot for a 2:10 finish.

The course has changed each year, and this year brought fewer hills, which surprised me greatly. I had warned Marta that we would be feeling the hills, and then I kept wondering when we would find them!  One other change from previous years: the race course was much safer in the residential neighborhoods this year. I think that our Medina friends have finally realized that the race is here to stay, and they have learned to live with it. In previous years, I have seen cars weaving among runners, and it was super-dangerous. This year when there were drivers, they listened to the course directors. Kudos to the Race Director for working on this problem.

As we came to the end of the race, I heard my friends shouting my name (thanks, Ailene!), so I found the energy to kick it in gear and sprint. Marta and I finished in 2:10:01.  I'll take it!

It looks painful, right?
 Now for the worst photo finish EVER:

Hahahahaha! So dramatic.
After I walked off the feeling of wanting to throw up, Marta and I took some happy pictures by the Gazebo (which is a Medina-thing):

Then we went to the best after-party EVER: Pizza and beer and a great band sponsored by Stand up for Downs. I drank some Fat Tire (no crappy Michelob Ultra here) and ate some pizza and basked in the sunshine with Marta:

Before we were faking it. Now that we have beer, we are truly happy.
And check out the awesome medal:

There are little sparkles embedded in the medal.
All in all, I give the Medina Half Marathon a big stamp of approval. This race gets better every year. The race directors listen to our feedback and work really hard to make any necessary improvements for the next year, and honestly, there is a lot of bang for your buck. I will continue to make this half my traditional hello to summer.

How do you say hello to summer?  Whatever your tradition, whether it involves racing or not, I hope you run happy, Peeps!

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